The Ultimate Subscription Guide: Which Audio Streaming Service Should You Get?

Looking for options?

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ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Yup, there’s more than just Spotify on our shores! The audio-streaming platform is arguably the most popular one in the country but in case you wanted to check out your options, we’re here to help you out. We list down what is best for you based on what it is you’re looking for—in an audio streaming service, just to be very clear! There are several different types of platforms available in the Philippines, and each one has a little something special to offer. While music is of course the main service, there are also other audio works on the spectrum. Podcast addicts, we got you too, don’t worry. Check out the discussion below, plus a quick comparison after!

Also read: The Ultimate Subscription Guide: Which Streaming Service Should You Get?

Which audio streaming service in the Philippines should you get?

For the budget-savvy casual listener: Spotify

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In terms of content, Spotify has artists from all parts of the globe and podcasts across genres on their platform. There are also multiple features that keep people coming back: playlists made based on your listening habits, made by other users, or ones that depend on your mood, and yup, there are times the algorithm hits it just right with recommended tracks. Plus, it is fun to see what your friends are listening to!

Spotify works great if all you want to do is have something playing while working. In terms of quality, premium users can get up to 320kbps on music quality while free users can have up to 160kbps. Podcasts are set to around 96kbps but can reach 128kbps on the web player—all pretty standard!

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The thing with Spotify is that you have a wide selection of plans to choose from—it can go for as low as P7 per day or P26 a week. You can also adjust your settings to save up on data. If you’re willing to pay more for higher quality, the platform announced plans of launching a HiFi subscription in 2021.

For the one concert-addict: YouTube Music

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Missing the old days when you could attend live gigs, heck, even loud, crowded concerts? Then YouTube Music is the way to go—it’s a whole separate platform for musical content on YouTube. If you subscribe to a channel on YouTube Music, your “normal” YouTube account won’t automatically be subscribed to it too (though said music channel will exist on both platforms). Thankfully, the interface is pretty similar so there’s not that much confusion.

The highest music quality you can get on YouTube Music is 256kbps, which is admittedly pretty meh. What you do get is access to tons of live performances and remixes exclusive to the platform, and if you don’t feel like watching the video, you also have the option to listen to the audio-only track, which is basically a cleaner version of the live one. Most importantly, you can continue playing the sound even if you leave the app or close your phone, one of the biggest peeves of folks on the free services.

For the Apple User: Apple Music

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Okay, so this one is right on the nose! While this service is available on Android devices, Apple Music was built to integrate with iOS devices and services, so it does work best for, yup, Apple users. You can bring in what is already in your iTunes library; the interface of Apple Music itself is like a sleeker, easier version of iTunes. Plus, you can also get help from Siri on the app. In terms of features, Apple Music works a lot like Spotify, complete with playlists and great recommendations based on what you listen to.

There are tons of tracks to listen to, as well as originals and exclusive releases. For a more human feel, there are also radio stations you can listen to like Apple Music 1, which are run by DJs live 24/7! The one thing Apple Music doesn’t have are podcasts. You’ll have to download another Apple app exclusive for those.

A one-up it does have on Spotify is access to Lossless Audio, available to those already subscribed at no extra cost. The default quality is 256 kbps; when you turn on the high-quality streaming on setting, you can get up to 192 kHz! Best part is that there’s a three-month free trial period; a long time to get to know the platform before committing. We’re pretty sure people have gotten married faster.

For the absolute audiophile: Deezer

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French streaming service Deezer has been around for a while, but it’s more of a hidden gem used by HiFi seekers. They’re one of the few streaming services offering CD-quality levels of audio in the Philippines, which isn’t exactly high-res just yet, but definitely better than most.

At a glance, Deezer works pretty much like Spotify does. With more than 73 million tracks in its catalogue, it is at par with Spotify’s, so no need for FOMO. The interface is clean and with similar features—although Spotify’s algorithm can’t be beat when it comes to recommendations. The premium plans reach up to 320kbps quality, similar to Spotify. If higher quality is a priority, the HiFi subscription will get you lossless, CD-quality streaming at 1,411kbps!

For the creator: SoundCloud

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SoundCloud is one of the earliest in the game, founded in 2007. You can listen to millions of tracks from creators worldwide—at different levels of music-making and across all kinds of genres—for free on the platform. And if you’d rather not make an account, you can even download the software and listen anonymously. It's perfect for those looking for more niche stuff or want to support up and coming artists.

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If you’re looking to jump from the listening to the creating part of music, then Soundcloud’s subscriptions can help you out. If you produce music, you can get it out online through SoundCloud and yup, be paid for plays—with a pretty hefty price tag of USD $11.20 a month (roughly P600 a month). For that, you can upload as much of your music as you want, get audience insights and more. You can also check out the repost plan for more basic features.

For the audio bookworm: Audible

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Okay, so just to clear things out: Amazon’s audible isn’t for streaming music. This platform is loaded with audiobooks from all kinds of different genres. Reading isn’t exactly something you can do while multitasking, but with an audiobook, you can.

The basic Plus plan is at USD $7.95 monthly (roughly P400), Premium Plus with one credit is USD $14.95 monthly (roughly P750), and Premium Plus with two credits is USD $22.95 monthly (P1,150). Depending on your subscription, you can get one or two credits monthly, which can buy you premium audiobooks on the platform. You can also choose to buy more premium titles if you’ve used up your monthly credit. If you’d rather save up your credits, you also have access to thousands of Originals, audiobooks, and even podcasts. And yup, once you’ve bought a title, you can keep those in your library forever, even after you cancel your Audible subscription.

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Plans, Prices of Audio Streaming Services in the Philippines

ILLUSTRATION Seanne Sabroso

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